The Shanghai Scoop is a monthly column dedicated to the latest food and drink news happening in Shanghai.


Opening Soon in Shanghai

First off, a few soundbites: DA VITTORIO is opening a casual restaurant called New Wave on Xizang Bei Lu in Q3 this year. And there might be a third Cheesecake Factory in Shanghai in the near future.

Cheesecake Factory to open more locations in Shanghai, China. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence.

Also rumor has it that Mexican-inspired craft cocktail bar COA (Hong Kong, #8 on World’s 50 Best Bars 2020, #1 50 Best Bars Asia 2021) is opening in Shanghai.

Shanghai Oud, the group behind J.Boroski Shanghai, MOST Izakaya and Bistro 11 is opening two concepts near Rockbund. Due to open in July is The Upper Room, a rooftop cocktail bar that is sure to have a strong drinks program, headed by J.Boroski mixologist Mark Lloyd.

The Upper Room, cocktail bar on the Bund, Shanghai. @ Nomfluence.
Rendering: The Upper Room

On the floor below will be The Living Room, an all-day brunch spot. It’ll be in a similar vein to Bistro 11, the group’s brunchy cafe on Fumin Lu, but also offer more dinner options.

The Upper Room, cocktail bar on the Bund, Shanghai. @ Nomfluence.
Rendering: The Upper Room

Matt Waters, founder of Smoke KCQ is joining forces with The Camel Group to bring Kansas-style barbecue to downtown Shanghai. The Camel on Xiangyang Lu will get a rebrand, turning into “The Smokehouse” come late May. Expect the likes of smash burgers, brisket burnt end sandwiches, and a whole lot of smoked meats.

The Smokehouse, a restaurant in Shanghai serving Kansas-style barbecue. @ Nomfluence

Royal Patat is moving to Jing’an, opening early June in the basement of Reel Mall. Fries galore, but also 10-15 more deep-fried snacky foods. Massively unhealthy? Yes. Equally enjoyable? Also, yes.

Italo is getting a rebrand, launching end of May — “Trattoria Italo” is going to be a back-to-roots Italian casual restaurant helmed by chef Lucky Lasagna. On the menu will be fresh pastas, antipasti, and comfort Italian food, plus a martini trolley. Kicks off May 27.

Trattoria Italo, a casual Italian restaurant in Shanghai. @ Nomfluence.
Trattoria Italo, a casual Italian restaurant in Shanghai. @ Nomfluence.

Now Open: New & Hot Restaurants

Ember Shanghai

This is a hot new opening. Ember Shanghai is a high-end Japanese restaurant that does niku kappo omakase. As in, beef is every dish. It’s a collaboration with ZT Hospitality group (the same people behind Torisawa) and Nakahara, Tokyo.

Ember Shanghai, is a high-end Japanese restaurant that does niku kappo omakase, beef omakase. @ Nomfluence
Ember Shanghai, is a high-end Japanese restaurant that does niku kappo omakase, beef omakase. @ Nomfluence
Ember Shanghai

The first Ember opened in Shenzhen and is highly lauded, which would explain the fervor surrounding the Shanghai opening—the bar counter seats are currently booked until mid June.

Ember Shanghai, is a high-end Japanese restaurant that does niku kappo omakase, beef omakase. @ Nomfluence
Ember Shanghai

They have two set menus, yakiniku omakase (¥880/person) in all the PDR and banquette seats, the other is niku kappo omakase ¥1,280/person for counter seats only. There are also two supplemental courses, the signature wagyu sandwich (¥328), and the smoked beef tongue (¥180).

Ember Shanghai, is a high-end Japanese restaurant that does niku kappo omakase, beef omakase. @ Nomfluence
Ember Shanghai

Grand Banks

In soft opening is Grand Banks, a restaurant and lounge by the Bund on Sichuan Zhong Lu. Food is a mix of Mediterranean and Asian, paired with creative cocktails. It’s from a newcomer restaurant group, founded by Chris Shao, owner of Objective Gallery and architecture and design firm Chris Shao Studios.

Grand Banks, a restaurant and lounge near the Bund, Shanghai. @ Nomfluence
Grand Banks

The space looks gorgeous, housed in a historical 1920s baroque building, done up with tasteful furniture and accents of marble, silver and wood. Soft opening from Wed-Sun from 6pm. Brunch and lunch to start in June.

Grand Banks, a restaurant and lounge near the Bund, Shanghai. @ Nomfluence
Grand Banks, a restaurant and lounge near the Bund, Shanghai. @ Nomfluence
Grand Banks

Ochiyo 2

Another soft opening is the second location of Ochiyo. The original Ochiyo is an excellent, intimate omakase tucked away in a lane house. This new Ochiyo at 1710 Huaihai Zhong Lu is a bold undertaking with three concepts, serving yakitori, yakiniku, and sushi. Each arm of the Japanese restaurant has a dedicated bar counter, and all have set menus.

Ochiyo opens a second location in Shanghai with three concepts: yakitori, yakiniku and sushi. @ Nomfluence
Ochiyo opens a second location in Shanghai with three concepts: yakitori, yakiniku and sushi. @ Nomfluence
Ochiyo 2

The yakitori bar is ¥680 and does a selection of chicken, beef, pork and vegetable skewers; a la carte menu available after 8:30pm.

Ochiyo opens a second location in Shanghai with three concepts: yakitori, yakiniku and sushi. @ Nomfluence

The yakiniku bar set is ¥1,380, serving a niku omakase, a set menu of different cuts of wagyu. The sushi bar has two sets, ¥680 and ¥880, but serving lunch only, and is supposed to be a high value lunch (12 sushi, 3 hot dishes, a soup and a dessert). More on this later on!

Ochiyo opens a second location in Shanghai with three concepts: yakitori, yakiniku and sushi. @ Nomfluence
Ochiyo 2

Other New Openings

Le Jardin de JR is a new French cafe in Xuhui. And contrary to what you may have heard or read, it is in no way connected to Joel Robuchon. The chef, Sunny Liang, however, did work for 7 years at Joel Robuchon.

Le Jardin de JR, new French restaurant in Shanghai. @ Nomfluence
Le Jardin de JR, new French restaurant in Shanghai. @ Nomfluence
Le Jardin de JR

Now that’s out of the way… Le Jardin de JR is split into two parts—casual with a bakery and fine dining. The food is, um, French. The space looks great, especially the outdoor area. It is uncertain if you can brunch and swim, but let’s say the pool is only for aesthetics.

Le Jardin de JR, new French restaurant in Shanghai. @ Nomfluence
Le Jardin de JR

Ice cream bar Swirlz is now open! Loaded sundaes and cones for summertime and funky flavors like soy sauce caramel.

Swirlz is an ice cream shop in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence

Located on the ground floor of Wukang Market is AGNES, a smokehouse and grill bar from Mr Willis & Co. On the menu are meats like the slow-cooked m5 Australian Wagyu brisket, and crispy Danish crown pork belly.

Agnes, a smokehouse and grill bar in Shanghai. @ Nomfluence
Agnes

Accompanying the sandwiches and meat platters are classic diner drinks and desserts like shakes and house-made ginger beer, and soft-serve ice cream. Extra points for having Mikkeller on tap.

Agnes, a smokehouse and grill bar in Shanghai. @ Nomfluence
Agnes

Upstairs of Agnes is Mi Mian Hui Xin for dim sum and Something for brunch, also concepts from Willis & Co. All three of these venues are only open on the weekend, Saturday and Sunday for now.

Mi Mian Hui Xin, a Cantonese dim sum restaurant in Shanghai. Photo by Rachel Gouk @ Nomfluence
Mi Mian Hui Xin

And there’s more coming this summer! It’s going to be an eventful year. Stay tuned!